Garwin Beukes - The more time I spend with other people whether it is at my work place, out at an event or just quality time with a loved one, one thing is for sure - a lot of young people do not know some of the basics when it comes to taking care a vehicle.

After doing a little personal Vox-pop (questioning a random group of people on a topic) one thing became clear - most men and women buy / own fairly new cars that would likely have a service plan and the perception is that it will not give you a problem anytime soon. The sad reality is that, cars are unpredictable and something may go wrong at any given time; it is thus better to be prepared.

In the next few weeks we’ll be looking at a few ‘must know’ topics.

Today we take a look at changing a wheel. This is something you’ll have to do if you have a flat tyre and surprisingly is something a lot of women and men do not know how to do.

  1. First things first, to change a wheel you need to be equipped with the right tools. You will need a wheel spanner that fits properly. If the car is fitted with anti-theft nuts, make sure you have the key to remove them. You will also need a jack that can manage the weight of the car. Most of these tools are supposed to be in your car at all times.
  2. When you start make sure the vehicle is on a flat/ stable surface to restrict the car from rolling. Park as far away as possible from traffic and put on your hazard lights.
  3. Apply the parking (hand) brake and put the car in first/ reverse gear. If you drive an automatic transmission put the car in ‘park’. This will give extra surety that the car will not move.
  4. Remove the wheel/ centre caps that hide the wheel nuts (if there are any fitted)
  5. Loosen the wheel nuts using your wheel spanner - but do not completely remove them.
  6. Place the jack in the right place under the car; usually on the side of the vehicle, close to the wheel you are attempting to remove- there will be an allocated hard place to jack the car. If you do not know where it is, refer to the car hand book. Any attempt to jack the car at the wrong place might bring damage to your vehicle.
  7. Jack up the car until the wheel can rotate freely using your hand.
  8. Remove the nuts and then take of the wheel. Put the wheel under the car, just in case the car falls of the jack - it will fall on the wheel preventing damage to the car and yourself.
  9. Take the spare wheel out of the trunk (or wherever it may be placed) and fit it. This may take some time; make sure the holes line up with the wheel studs.
  10. Refit the wheel nuts and tighten them until the wheel is secured.
  11. Remove the wheel under the car.
  12. Lower the car using the jack.
  13. Remove the jack and re-tighten the wheel nuts - clockwise.
  14. Put the wheel back in the boot/ trunk.

NamAuto Monday Column

    Now you’re set to go. Make sure you get your tyre fixed and have it replaced.

    Catch me again next week for your weekly ‘must know’ car tip.